Who’s visited Nottingham this week? Here’s our take on the most memorable live music of the last seven days…
Annie-Marie, Rescue Rooms (22/11/2016)
Anne Marie was phenomenally honest. It’s often quite obvious when certain artists aren’t enjoying a tour; doing the exact same set over and over can become monotonous. This did not show in Anne-Marie’s performance, as she got through a set packed with songs clearly very personal to her.
Emotions perfectly matched every song, with her penultimate song ‘Peak’ bringing her close to tears. Her ability to let her emotions control the performance gripped the audience and made for an entertaining gig.
“A lot of the instrumentation was pre-recorded and would have been a lot more entertaining had it been played live”
Anne Marie was quirkily honest, conversing with the crowd with no attempt to appear cool. She was casual and relaxed, with comments like “my songs are a bit moody aren’t they?” and her very smooth pit check.
My only problem with the show was the band’s use of a click track. I feel like it took away from the performance as a lot of the instrumentation was pre-recorded and would have been a lot more entertaining had it been played live, especially the main synth on the track ‘Alarm’. That being said, the drummer’s use of a mix of analogue and digital drums was awesome. All in all, a great gig.
Courteeners, Rock City (22/11/2016)
As Oasis’ What’s The Story Morning Glory boomed through the speakers, anticipation hit fever pitch as the Middleton four-piece took to the stage. The band ploughed through a packed set with a now-classic Fray acoustic interlude ahead a typically raucous encore. The set comprised the perfect mix of fan favourites smattered with tracks from their new record Mapping the Rendezvous, released just this month.
Courteeners have managed to create somewhat of a cult following that only gets more dedicated the closer you get to Greater Manchester. The crowd were the congregation, frontman Liam Fray their messiah. Think of a swarm of rowdy football supporters on Derby Day.
“Pints were thrown (sadly some warm), hamstrings were on shoulders, and bruises were administered by the overzealous”
Pints were thrown (sadly some warm), hamstrings were on shoulders, and bruises were administered by the overzealous. That, along with the occasional contraband flare, have come to characterise a Courteeners gig for me. The city’s supply of Fred Perrys seemed to congregate in the venue. It was just as well that we were not outdoors: it spared us from the onslaught of bucket hats and Adidas tracksuit tops.
Manchester has long been a key player in British music, and after last night it will be no surprise if Courteeners one day find themselves joining the ranks of Oasis and the Stone Roses as north-west music royalty.
At one point Fray asked the crowd who would be “going on a mad one” on a Tuesday night. By the feel of it, everyone did just that.
White Lies, Rock City (24/11/2016)
Two days later, London band White Lies played the same venue and attracted a less manic type of fan but nonetheless equally devoted. It had been three years since the band last played in Nottingham and it was clear that they were pleased to be back.
Though their music has been categorised as post-punk and even gothic, the night was sincerely uplifting. Perhaps the band get fed up with being compared to Joy Division, and I happen to agree that White Lies sound vastly different. Euphoric riffs, thundering basslines and Harry McVeigh’s deep vocals made for a captivating gig.
“Perhaps the band get fed up with being compared to Joy Division, and I happen to agree that White Lies sound vastly different”
Before the encore, the band played ‘Death’, which in my opinion may just be one of the best songs of the last decade. McVeigh articulates stories with such clarity in a way that few other songwriters do. White Lies lyrics on record are bleak but beautiful, and their music is powerfully emotive. Hearing it live, their songs became more epic still.
Hopefully, they won’t wait another three years before returning next time.
Image courtesy of Pomona PR
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